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Thinking of weaning early because of elimination diet.

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Should i wean my 7 mo old to formula? I am feeling really malnurished (97 lbs now and used to be 112) and i am craving the freedom to eat whatever i want again. I haven't had a really good meal since before I became pregnant. I was sick throughout my pregnancy and could barely eat. Then after my DD was born I went on a TED because she had severe colic. I started adding foods back in and before I knew it we had a bad case of eczema. I didn't even know eczema was linked to food so I naively added everything back in and assumed things were ok. So then I cut the top 8 allergenic foods out again because I was in tears over her eczema. I couldn't do it slowly because she was suffering so much. So now at 7 1/2 months of EBF I feel like throwing I the towel and weaning to a special formula for allergies. Problem is she wont drink from a bottle or a sippy cup. I have tried spoon feeding her goats milk and she just apits it out. She also spits out any solids i try to give her like pureed carrots. Im so frustrated and stressed out and worried about both of our nutrition. I am thinking weaning will help. Any thoughts/suggests?
post #2 of 27
Thread Starter 
I should also mention that my DD is very interested in solids she reaches for them. She uses uncooked carrot sticks and celery to chew. But when I give her pureed foods she makes a "yuck" face and pushes is back out of her mouth.
post #3 of 27

I think that's a question only you can answer. Breastmilk is obviously the best choice for your baby, even if your baby is reacting to things you are eating it can be made completely hypoallergenic by avoiding those foods. Special formula is not always hypoallergenic for every baby, some babies can still react to the hypoallergenic formula. It is really hard, I've been there. I think the most important thing is that you're able to be there for your baby and if you feel like you're not able to give her the care she needs because you're not getting the nourishment you need then maybe formula would be an option for you. If it's encouragement to keep going that you're needing...I've been in your shoes. My girly's problems started when she was about 2 months and for a long time I was down to eating about 3 or 4 different foods. I was feeling tired and hungry but somehow I knew I was doing what was best for my baby. We pushed forward and are still nursing at 2 years. I'm really glad I pushed forward and continued to nurse her, as a food intolerant toddler I have the reasurance of knowing whatever nutrition is lacking in her limited diet she is still getting from my milk. She didn't start solids until about 9 or 10 months because I knew that would just complicate things further.

 

Do you already know some of the things that she's reacting to? What kinds of things are you eating? Maybe you need to focus on adding some higher calorie things back into your diet. Use lots of oils in cooking...olive oil, coconut oil, etc.

post #4 of 27

I don't have any suggestions on what to do because l agree with the PP that it's a very personal choice. I'll briefly share my story with DS, who started having bloody mucousy stools and eczema around 3 months. I went on an elimination diet and lost a lot of weight in a few months. I also had low supply and a lot of nursing problems due to DS's tongue tie and low muscle tone. The stools and eczema did not get significantly better after months of me eating a very limited diet and breastfeeding was not getting easier. After a lot of tears and going back and forth on what to do, I decided to try the hypoallergenic formula that the pediatric GI was recommending but it wasn't the solution that I hoped for in our case. He really did not start improving until he was off the formula and started to eat mostly solids, well past his 1st birthday (we started solids late too, around 9-10 months).

 

I think your feelings are important, and if you are feeling unhappy/sad/depressed then it's okay to try something else. If you do decide to try formula, maybe you can continue to pump during a trial period of a few weeks in case it doesn't work or you change your mind? I did that, and it sort of gave me piece of mind because I could change back if I needed to. As for your current diet, do you know that she reacts to all of the foods you took out? Do you see an improvement in your DD now when you are on a limited diet? For me, I think I lost a lot of weight because I was not eating enough in general since I sometimes felt so unmotivated to cook and there was nothing easy I could grab and eat when I was hungry. I agree about adding a lot of good fats.

post #5 of 27

Did the eczema get better after you returned to the ED?  

post #6 of 27

Wait, so you have eliminated cow's milk (I assume since it's a TED) but you give your baby goat's milk? Does she have a reaction to the goat milk? If not, you can probably try adding dairy back in, as babies who have a cow milk protein allergy are also allergic to the protein in goats milk 99% of the time.

 

I wanted to encourage you to pump for a while if you try to do the formula. Formula may not be as simple of a solution as you think. My DS NEVER took a bottle or a sippy. Not even with BM in it. I have been dairy free for two and a half years because he is still nursing, and it has gotten a LOT easier. I am so glad I didn't give up in those difficult moments! Could you try changing your diet instead to include more good fats? Avocado? Coconut milk? Dairy-free coconut milk products have been a lifesaver for me (ice cream and yogurt are both REALLY tasty!!!). I would also suggest crock pot meals. When I was going through a similar hardship, I would make really great soups and bean stews in the crock pot. It definitely improved my nutrition with all the extra calcium and protein in the beans and veggies! If you are truly suffering still and BFing is really important to you, take your DD in to an allergist. They will do a series of skin reaction tests and you will know just what she is allergic to and what you can add back into your diet. Eliminating every possible allergen is A LOT more taxing than one or two things.

 

Good luck, mama!

post #7 of 27
Thread Starter 
I am so grateful for all these responses. Having a baby with food allergies is a very lonely place. Doctors minimize it and friends have no idea what it's like. So it's really nice to hear from people who understand.

To answer a few of the questions:
Yes, her eczema cleared completely when I went back on the diet. I just noticed some patches have returned today ... Possibly from goats milk I gave her earlier in the week.
She has a bad reaction to wheat & dairy for sure. I am suspicious of corn, eggs, soy, bananas, chocolate & nuts. And now goats milk. It's hard for me to pinpoint the triggers because the reaction is delayed especially when she is getting it through my breast milk.

I guess I am just feeling stressed out and overwhelmed because the diet requires so much cooking. And my DD is very needy so it's almost impossible to cook. I don't have any family or friends close enough to help. And to top it off I don't have a lot of experience cooking. And neither does my husband.

I am eating smoothies, sunbutter, rice bread & pasta, crockpot soups, lots of fruit, veggie stir frys, coconut ice cream, chicken & fish along with most vegetables And salads . So I think I have a decent variety. I just really miss the things I used to make with dairy & eggs & wheat flour.. Like chicken salad, frittatas, quiche, quesadillas, lasagna and I miss baked goods like muffins and breads and of course cookies & cake. smile.gif not to mention coffee just isn't the same without cream.

So as you can see I am in uncharted territory here and feeling lost. I was thinking of getting a bread machine so I could make some yummy breads but wasn't sure how they work with GF flours.

I guess I don't really want to wean her completely. I am just stretched to my limit and looking for some relief. I was thinking even just being able to give her 1 bottle a day would maybe take some of the pressure off me. And give my body a break. But it doesn't seem like making goats milk formula for her will be an option.

I was also thinking I'd like her to wean when it is ok for her to get all her nutrition from solids... I think that is 12 months right?
Edited by Zenmama1 - 9/15/11 at 9:00pm
post #8 of 27

Yes, at 12 months she will be able to get her nutrition from food, but she will still need a good source of calcium. Maybe a milk substitute that she can tolerate. Keep in mind though that weaning at 12 months can be really hard if she is not gradually introduced to solids and is not eating well yet. My son was not ready to even seriously consume solids until he was 12 months. Before that he would pick at food and experiment with it, but it wasn't a source of nutrition for him. 

 

I think because you are not quite sure what she is reacting to, in your case it may be worth it for you to take her to an allergist. If she has Celiac's, or multiple food allergies in general, the tests are very annoying (they are pokes or skin scratches), but you'll know EXACTLY what the culprits are and can go on with your life accordingly. I think stress can have so much to do with weight loss and health in general. If this is causing you stress, I would just find out for sure what you need to eliminate and what you don't. Good luck!

post #9 of 27

It is actually suggested 12-18 months but that is a transition to WHOLE MILK.  If that's isn't possible, you are going to need some supplement for the child.  I don't think the addition of goars milk is a very good ides either.  As stated, something like 98% of kids who react to cow milk will react to all animal milk.

 

Also, if you are starting solids later (which I totally would given what you are dealing with) it may take longer for the child to get the proper nutrients in "real" food.  I have to say, your list is pretty substantial.  There's a lot you can do with it.  You need to be creative and yes, cook but it looks way better than some Mom's I have seen out there.  Have you tried any GF baking?  Egg sub?  Tried any of the allergy cookbooks?  I do a lot of vegan dishes but sub IN animal protein for the soy.  That way you don't have to be creative, you just need to read the recipe.`

 

 

post #10 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by scsigrl View Post

It is actually suggested 12-18 months but that is a transition to WHOLE MILK.  If that's isn't possible, you are going to need some supplement for the child.  I don't think the addition of goars milk is a very good ides either.  As stated, something like 98% of kids who react to cow milk will react to all animal milk.

 

Also, if you are starting solids later (which I totally would given what you are dealing with) it may take longer for the child to get the proper nutrients in "real" food.  I have to say, your list is pretty substantial.  There's a lot you can do with it.  You need to be creative and yes, cook but it looks way better than some Mom's I have seen out there.  Have you tried any GF baking?  Egg sub?  Tried any of the allergy cookbooks?  I do a lot of vegan dishes but sub IN animal protein for the soy.  That way you don't have to be creative, you just need to read the recipe.`

 

 


That's a great idea to use vegan cookbooks. I do have one. Are there any allergy cookbooks you'd recommend?
post #11 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toposlonoshlep View Post

Yes, at 12 months she will be able to get her nutrition from food, but she will still need a good source of calcium. Maybe a milk substitute that she can tolerate. Keep in mind though that weaning at 12 months can be really hard if she is not gradually introduced to solids and is not eating well yet. My son was not ready to even seriously consume solids until he was 12 months. Before that he would pick at food and experiment with it, but it wasn't a source of nutrition for him. 

 

I think because you are not quite sure what she is reacting to, in your case it may be worth it for you to take her to an allergist. If she has Celiac's, or multiple food allergies in general, the tests are very annoying (they are pokes or skin scratches), but you'll know EXACTLY what the culprits are and can go on with your life accordingly. I think stress can have so much to do with weight loss and health in general. If this is causing you stress, I would just find out for sure what you need to eliminate and what you don't. Good luck!


I have considered doing an allergy test but I thought there are a lot of false negatives with them. Is the skin test pretty reliable?
post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bocamom View Post



I have considered doing an allergy test but I thought there are a lot of false negatives with them. Is the skin test pretty reliable?


Skin tests are 50% accurate for a positive reaction and something like 92% accurate for a - result.  That said, I did 2 different trials with DS, finally did allergy testing at 14 months, pulled all the +'s from his and my diet and within 3 days he was a different kid!  I would do it again in a heartbeat to figure things out earlier.  Were all his results ACTUALLY +, we won't know.  Was it a combination of allergens doing the damage, YES.

 

As for cookbooks, I haven't used them in a long time so I don't have any ideas about new ones. I have a good slow cooker one but I can't remember the name right now.  I'll try and find it but I think I may have lent it out.

post #13 of 27

I found the skin tests for my then 2yo and myself (at 40) to be relatively accurate (oxymoron?)  I'm not sure how this translates to a 7mo.  For me, because different foods caused different kinds of reactions, I found that the numbers need some interpretation with your own body.  This, as you can imagine, might be hard with an infant.  But I haven't found any actual false positives on my tests or dd's.  (Of course, she started having reactions to wheat and other foods about 2 years after this test.)

 

Some results I feel are not well represented by their numbers. Hazelnuts had a low result: 3/15 from a baseline of 3/7, but the reaction is immediate and extremely unsettling.  Even mixed in a cookie they are now completely out, whereas egg whites--3/31--mainly seems to cause GI upset.  No throat swelling, etc.  Corn--3/48--I can get away with small bits, like corn syrup (though not xanthum gum) but soy--lower at 2/28--is detectable always in the tiniest amounts.  

 

The other thing I notice is that the first number--representing the size of the whelp--is extremely important to the sensation of the reaction.  Even 1 point up and the effects are huge.  Also, you might see a squiggle and a "P" after the second number.  This represents a reaction that has irregular borders to the redness.  Regardless of the numbers, this is a big deal.  

 

So, I think you could have some generally reliable but not precise results with a skin test.  If this is causing you so much difficulties, I would see if the allergist tests babies that young and go for it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #14 of 27

There are so many great blogs out there for gluten free and allergy friendly meals! Oh, and do you have a baby carrier? When you're having to cook a lot a baby carrier is great because it frees up your hands. It will get easier! You just have to learn a whole knew way of cooking...focus on what you CAN eat instead of what you CAN'T eat.

 

Here's a few recipe sites to get you started:

http://www.nourishingmeals.com/

http://www.thesensitivepantry.com/

http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com/

http://www.adventuresofaglutenfreemom.com/

 

You could do allergy testing but if you do I would suggest a blood test and you would want an allergist who is knowledgeable about food intolerances because a lot of allergist don't put much stock in food intolerances. Celiac testing would be good but if you're not consuming a fair amount of gluten then it might not be accurate.

post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetSilver View Post

 

The other thing I notice is that the first number--representing the size of the whelp--is extremely important to the sensation of the reaction.  Even 1 point up and the effects are huge. 

 

 

 

That may be the case for you but the size of the skin test/number of a RAST test means nothing as to how each person will react.  There are people with very low numbers that are ana to things and people who have very high numbers that don't even notice.  

 

Also, you will be hard pressed to find an allergist who will "test" for intolerances or hold any stock in them.  While it is becoming more widely accepted (the major Celiac researcher here in the US just did a paper on the differences between Celiac but fully supporting people who are intolerant!) it isn't the norm, at least the 4 allergists we have been to!
 

 

post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by scsigrl View Post

That may be the case for you but the size of the skin test/number of a RAST test means nothing as to how each person will react.  There are people with very low numbers that are ana to things and people who have very high numbers that don't even notice.  

 


Exactly.  That's what I had hoped to point out in my post-- that the numbers require interpretation for each individual but that I personally have not had any false positives or negatives.  I wanted to reassure the OP that testing could be a helpful start, though not the precise picture.

 

post #17 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mytwomonkies View PostOh, and do you have a baby carrier? When you're having to cook a lot a baby carrier is great because it frees up your hands.


Hi Yes I do have a baby carrier. Actually I think i have one of every type :). My problem is now she struggles against it like it is too confining. she did this when she was younger too but I could settle her by walking or bouncing. Now it seems she wants to explore too much. So maybe I need to put something on the kitchen floor like a playmat. We have tile so I worry about her falling over and hitting her head. thanks for the links I will check those out.

 

post #18 of 27

Oh yeah, cooking larger quantities and freezing is a lifesaver too! When you make pancakes, muffins, cookies, etc. make a double or triple batch and freeze. Same with entree's too. Then you won't feel like you're in the kitchen 24/7! :)

post #19 of 27

Honestly, I think if it would give you a break, there is no harm in trying the hypoallergenic formula.  If your weight has dropped that low, it is obvious that you need help.

 

Consider continuing your current diet and breastfeeding, but try to start subbing in a feeding of the formula and see how it goes.  If she tolerates it well and you can get her to start to take some from a bottle or sippy, continue to add more.  If it begins to work well, add in some feedings for her to give yourself a break.

 

Seriously, if the formula doesn't work, then I can see that there is no other option than for you to continue in order for your daughter to get the nutrition she needs.  But if it does work, you are not obligated to continue at the expense of your own health.  You weigh 97 lbs.  Unless you are very short, that is not ok.

 

Being a parent is difficult.  Doing it without any support is so, so, hard.  By all means, follow the other advice here and get your baby tested for allergies, increase the nutrition of the food you are eating, etc.  But in the end, if the formula works, and you can get a break to increase your own health, do it.  Your baby needs a healthy, energetic mama to take care of her.

post #20 of 27

If you can afford it and have someone in the area I would try Advanced Allergy Therapeutics (AAT). We were helped a lot!!

 

 

and if you care, personally, I would do ANYTHING that was best for my baby. I would keep breastfeeding. It is only temporary anyway.

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